Letters To Seneca – Letter 29

Dear Seneca,

Taking extended periods to myself for silence, reading, writing, and thinking within nature is not something I do, but it intrigues me.

Honestly, taking time off from work and spending it on myself never happens. This should change since I have the means of doing so today, why wait for a time that may never come? Specifically, I’d like to spend more time in nature, preferably away from people, with the intent of creating artificial solitude. The goal of these retreats would be to go in, not out.

Sure this is something I can do daily and I’ll do my best to aim in that direction, but creating a manufactured environment conducive to this behavior can’t hurt.

You may ask “Why?”. Well… Like many people in the modern world, I’m constantly “doing” and rarely am I just “being”. I know it sounds strange, but let me explain.

Doing: Constantly on the move, trying to achieve all the goals, make progress, meet all the people, consume all the content, etc. Never switching fully off and sleeping with one eye open. I and many others can get lost in this “doing” mentality, unwilling to take a step back because of the pull of external acknowledgment from “doing”.

Being: This is a slower mentality to life. Instead, of always trying to pursue all the meaningless chases, you’re taking a step back to experience today. Experiencing what’s in front of you. You’re “being” in the present, not running endlessly to achieve.

The “being” state is a hard thing to do. Hence the idea of personal retreats with that intent in mind.

How do we put this into practice?

Being intentional about your personal budget, both in time and money is key. Setting aside the time and money now, so you’re committing your future self to this experience. Don’t allow meaningless chases to get in the way. Stand your ground, knowing the time to yourself in calm environments will only improve the quality of your life experience.